Emerging NYC bands playing 4Knots: Surfbort and Heaven

This year’s 4Knots Music Festival will take place on Saturday, July 11th in its new location at Pier 84 in Hudson River Park.  This move away from lower Manhattan’s South Street Seaport reflects the new partnership with Friends of Hudson River Park, also allows a later finishing time (10pm) than the previous four editions. For the first time the Festival will be a ticketed show, with tickets starting at $25 and proceeds benefiting the Park.

Opening the day are two local acts that make it worth to show up early.  Brooklyn punk rockers Surfbort (a band we blogged about earlier this year) kick off the event with their female fronted lyrical nihilism and Ramones inspired roughness.  Song titles like “Trippin' Over Babies” (streaming) “Perversion” and “Junk Estate” keep faith to the band's mission statement to “laugh in the face of the end of the world,” while “getting emotional about the slushie streets.”

More controlled local dream pop veterans Heaven are also scheduled to play early in the day.  It will be interesting to see how core members Matt Sumrow (guitar, vocals, songwriting) and respected drumming powerhouse Mikey Jones have evolved their sound.  Album tracks "Mountains Move" come off moody, dark and dreamy (all rolled into one) as Matt's outstanding guitar work alternates between clean-note arpeggios and wah-wah effected choruses. While other tracks like "Once The Heartache," "Falling Apple" and "Centuries" added majestic keyboard pads to clearly defined chord progressions and atmospheric dream-gaze vocals.  “Telepathic Love” accentuates Matt’s soft yet sandpapery vocals, weaving imagery about having seen “the ugly and the beautiful,” and simply trying to “figure it all out.” As always the drumming of Mikey Jones gives the band a tightness often lacking in this genre and a forceful edge in the live environment.

The big name headliners this year include Super Furry Animals, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Twin Peaks and Mikal Cronin.  Also scheduled to appear are Screaming Females, Happyness (Meatbodies and Heaters. - Dave Cromwell